Wednesday, April 4, 2012

My Latest Indianapolis Parking Adventure: Parking Kiosks Display Different Expiration Times for the Same Spot

On Monday, I parked on Delaware Street in downtown Indianapolis.  My car was located between two kiosks.  While the kiosk north of my car was slightly closer, I decided to feed the one south of my car as it was closer to the law firm I was going to.

I later found out my stay downtown would be extended so I went to put more more money on the meter.  This time I went to the kiosk north of my car and typed in my parking spot number.  It said I had no time left.  I knew I had to have had nearly an hour left.  But I used my credit card to pay for another 1 1/2 hours of time.  Then I walked to the kiosk south of me. It said I had about 55 minutes left on my spot.  I went back and forth between the two kiosks, checking to make absolutely certain I was entering the right space number.  I was.  The two kiosks had different readings for my spot.

As luck would have it a "Parking Ambassador" was walking the street, handing out tickets.  I explained to him my dilemma.  He said that each kiosk only covers a certain amount of meters and that if you go to another kiosk away from your spot it will tell you that you can't pay at that kiosk.  First, I was pretty sure this information wasn't accurate.  Second, I was able to pay for the parking spot at both kiosks.  Third, how am I supposed to know which kiosk I should feed or which one the "Parking Ambassador" is going to check when determining whether I have parked too long?

The parking kiosks have a phone number on them.  So I called to explain the problem.  The person who answered the phone said he only deals with meter malfunctions and couldn't help me.  (Apparently kiosks having different readings for the same parking space didn't qualify as a "malfunction.")  I told him that that is okay, that in another 49 years we are going to stick it to his company and not renew the parking contract for bad service.  We both had a good laugh.  I think he had heard that joke before.

8 comments:

Kilroy said...

I gotta admit, you do great work on these types of stories. The parking meter fiasco and the parking garage stuff are great.

Downtown Indy said...

This probably explains the numerous reports of being ticketed despite the fact you SHOULD have more time on the meter.

Each kiosk probably has a clock in it and they are getting skewed, one running alightly ahead or behind the other.

Morning Constitutional said...

I'm surprised they didn't explain to you that according to Einstein's Theory of Relativity, different observers travelling at different speeds will see time appear to unfold differently.

This happens especially when you're travelling near the speed of light, so you should slow down, man! Then all the parking meter clocks will be in sync.

And the other good news from all that is that becasue of the same effect, fifty years until this bad idea expires will appear to go by in....well.....no time at all.

Cato said...

Sounds like fraud. The City should suspend all parking collection fees until the operator gets it right.

HOOSIERS FOR FAIR TAX said...

I talked to a Broad Ripple business owner who is right on the avenue and he told me that his business has suffered since those new meters went in.

I hate everything about those new meters. I get stressed when I have to park at one and figure out how to work them.

They are inconvenient and are driving as much of my business as possible away from downtown and Broad Ripple so that I don't have to contend with them.

artfuggins said...

I love the new meters and the convenience that they offer. I just resent that Mayor Ballard gave away all of that revenue for 50 years to his friends.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I agree with Art. I was for meter modernization. I was not for giving away 70% of the revenue from the parking meters. The problem is we gave away control of the meters to a private company for the next 50 years. Now that the meters are malfunctioning, we have no leverage to demand better service with a company that has a 50 year contract. If we owned the meters, there wouldn't be a problem with demanding improvements.

Jamison said...

Maybe you should be a bit more of a "serious bicycle commuter" so you don't have to worry about it....